The St. Regis Abu Dhabi is proud to support and host the capital’s Darkness into Light event, as part of a worldwide awareness activation, in partnership with Al Jalila Foundation. Darkness into Light is a unique international event that will take place in over 100 venues across Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Middle East on Saturday 6th May, 2017, to unite communities and raise Mental Health awareness.
Originally started in Ireland, the event brings thousands of people together at the darkest point of the night, at locations across the world to walk a 5km route as dawn is breaking. The symbolism of commencing in darkness and walking into the light creates an impactful community occasion, delivering a potent message of hope to all. It highlights the struggles of those suffering from a mental illness in the dark and celebrates hope for the future, surrounded by a supportive community walking into the light.
The Abu Dhabi event is partnered with the Al Jalila Foundation, a global philanthropic organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical education and research, making a special effort in the area of Mental Health. The foundation was founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai in April 2013, positioning the UAE at the forefront of medical innovation.
Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, Chief Executive Officer, Al Jalila Foundation comments “We are delighted to be the charity partner of the Darkness into Light event and be part of a global movement to give a voice to people suffering from mental illness. According to the World Health Organization depression affects 350 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of disability. Barriers such as stigma and discrimination prevent people with mental illness from seeking help resulting in cases going untreated. Community events like the Darkness into Light walk will give hope and healing to many. Al Jalila Foundation in partnership with The Carter Center offers the UAE Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism to create a national conversation around mental illness in the United Arab Emirates.”
Darkness into Light is an unrestricted event, people of all ages and nationalities are invited and encouraged to attend and come together. Walkers will meet by 4.30am at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi’s Nation Riviera Beach Club directly accessible from the Corniche. The 5km walk will commence towards the marina to the flag pole then return to the beach club where walkers are invited to gather, meet and mingle in the energy complimented with light refreshments by St. Regis.
“As part of our ongoing philanthropic commitment, it’s wonderful to be able to direct our hotel’s essence of hospitality towards a great cause, which highlights awareness of mental health issues through this global effort” comments General Manager, Moustafa Sakr, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi. “This event will be a significant moment that reinforces the capital’s strong, local community spirit.”